William Kerrigan is the Cole Distinguished Professor of American History at Muskingum University. He is the author of Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard (Johns Hopkins, 2012) and co-author of several local histories. He teaches courses in Revolutionary, Early National and Civil War history as well as Ohio History, and has been leading students on study tours of Civil War battlefields and monuments for over fifteen years.
The Civil War in Ohio’s Public Memory
How have Ohioan’s understanding of the meaning of the Civil War changed over time? What role do slavery and emancipation play in the way Ohioans remember the war? How have Ohioans viewed their Confederate foes? Looking closely at large monuments like the Soldiers and Sailor’s monument in downtown Cleveland, the many statues of solitary Union soldiers that reside in cemeteries and courthouse grounds across the state, and also markers and memorials to former Confederates reveals much about the ways in in which Ohioans have contested the meaning and significance of the Civil War over time.
First Fruits: The Founders and their Orchards
Abigail and John Adams, George and Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and many other leaders of the Revolutionary generation were orchard-keepers. Yet each had different reasons for growing fruit trees. They grew them to keep a steady supply or hard cider on hand through long winter months, to demonstrate their gentility and refinement, and as a commercial operation. Learn more about the many uses these families found for their apple, peach and cherry trees, the challenges they faced in growing fine fruit, and the roles their free and unfree laborers played in caring for, cultivating, and processing their bounties.
The Apple’s American Journey
The modern apple has its origins in the mountains of Kazakhstan, where today whole forests of wild apples still grow. But today the apple is a truly global fruit, traded and carried by migrants to temperate zones around the globe. Yet Americans have embraced the apple as their national fruit, evidenced in the expression “as American as apple pie.” This this talk briefly explores the apple’s early global history, then examines the apple’s American journey: its role in European colonization of North America’s temperate zones and its journey westward across the United States in the 19th century. It concludes with a brief discussion of the apple’s place in the new global economy.
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